Ministries, agencies told to conduct in-house auditing

This is to evaluate progress and avoid discrepancies in any of their projects, according to NAD

Pic By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

MINISTRIES and government agencies should conduct in-house auditing to evaluate progress and avoid discrepancies in any of their projects, said the National Audit Department (NAD).

In the Auditor-General’s (A-G) Report 2016 Series 2 tabled in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, the department said audits conducted on ministries and agencies still discovered various weaknesses in the implementation of programmes, activities and projects.

The weaknesses were due to the lack of monitoring and supervision by the responsible parties, as well as a lack of technical expertise which result in total dependence on consultants and contractors.

“Secretaries-general and department heads should conduct a comprehensive inhouse audit to see whether there were other weaknesses to be addressed,” the report stated.

The lack of coordination between agencies involved in a particular project also contributed to the weaknesses in implementation, it said.

The report suggested that a detailed study must first be done on any proposed government project before being approved for implementation.

“For that purpose, in accordance with the Treasury Directive 182.1, departments and agencies must submit complete information such as project site status, project summary, project ceiling, annual allocation and project implementation schedule to the technical department,” it said.

The report also recommended that service heads, control officers, department heads set up an investigation committee to deal with irregularities, extravagance and wastage.

“Stern action such as disciplinary action or surcharge must be taken against errant officers who failed to discharge their responsibilities without reasonable grounds and causing loss to the government,” it stated.

In total, the federal ministries, departments and agencies have received a nod of approval for their programmes, activities and projects — despite certain weaknesses in the plans that must be overcome immediately.

The A-G’s Report 2016 Series 2 outlined 240 recommendations, of which 74 are pertained to activities of federal ministries, departments and statutory bodies; 36 to management of federal government companies and agencies; and 130 to management of activities of state governments, departments, agencies and companies.

A-G Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad said in her preface in the audit report that overall government activities had been carried out accordingly, despite the weaknesses.

“To enable secretariesgeneral of ministries, heads of departments and DGs to carry out rectification and improvement on the weaknesses that had been identified, I have submitted 74 recommendations,” she said.

In a press conference at the Parliament building yesterday, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin (picture) said the panel will call up two ministries and government-linked firms over their performance as stated in the A-G’s Report 2016 Series 2.

He said the Youth and Sports Ministry, and Rural and Regional Development Ministry would be summoned in the near term to explain discrepancies highlighted in the audit report.

“The Youth and Sports Ministry will be called over the construction of a sports facility that the PAC needs clarification about.

“We will also call on the Bintulu Port Authority and Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd to advise them to improve their performances.

We are not looking for their weaknesses, but just to suggest ways to better their performances,” he said.

Overall, Hasan said the PAC is pleased with the performances of the federal government, federal statutory bodies and state governments.

A total of 126 financial statements were audited without reprimand, 12 were given advice, four were reprimanded and one received an objection of opinion, he added.